How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 5 Number 27:  3 July 2002

Temperature Record of the Week
This issue's Temperature Record of the week is from Lusk, Wyoming. Visit our U.S. Climate Data section to plot and view these data for yourself.

Current Editorial
A Pitiable Ploy to Promote the Kyoto Protocol: The Predicted Disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: In a recent article in Science magazine, Brian C. O'Neill and Michael Oppenheimer urge immediate implementation of the Kyoto Protocol to prevent what they view as the three most dangerous biospheric impacts of global warming.  We here discuss the second of their trio of planetary meltdown scenarios, exposing the many flaws in their specious arguments.

Subject Index Summaries
Agriculture (Species -- Tomato): A brief review of some of the recently published literature suggests that increases in the air's CO2 content will enhance biomass production in tomato, even under the stressful conditions imposed by fungal pathogens and high soil salinity.

Population: Human population has been a near-perfect predictor of atmospheric CO2 concentration since well before the Industrial Revolution, while the historical rise in the air's CO2 content has played a major role in supporting the concomitant population explosion.  This synergism will continue in the future, with atmospheric CO2 levels peaking at about 420 ppm and then declining in response to the decline in our numbers that is anticipated to begin somewhere in the vicinity of 2070.  Hence, there is no need for the Kyoto Protocol or anything like it.

Current Journal Reviews
Climate and Soil in Iceland: Their Fortunes Rise and Fall Together: Warm is good, cold is bad.  It's as simple as that.

Climate and Vegetation in Iceland: In a place as cold as Iceland, one would think that vegetation would grow best during periods of warmer temperatures.  And, in fact, such is indeed the case, as modern research clearly demonstrates.

Photosynthetic Consequences of Elevated CO2 in Low Light Environments: Mature forest canopies can severely limit the amount of sunlight that reaches understory saplings beneath them.  In such low-light environments, is it possible for elevated CO2 to make much of an impact on photosynthetic carbon uptake?

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi: Do They Alter the Growth Response of Lolium perenne to Elevated CO2?: Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased the biomass production of perennial ryegrass, even in low-nitrogen soils.  But when arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were made a part of the experimental protocol ...

Effects of Atmospheric CO2 and Soil Nitrogen Additions on Organic Carbon Pools of Soil Under Wheat Cultivation: A FACE experiment in Arizona, USA, which revealed no immediate direct effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on soil carbon sequestration, suggests there may yet be future CO2-induced indirect effects that could enhance soil carbon stores in many of the planet's natural and agro-ecosystems.